Balance is a challenge.

Safety pros need more training than just safety training. So what exactly are the skills needed for the future safety manager—and how can that help you as you plan for 2020?

The safety culture you create will attract and retain the best talent. That requires a different skillset than today’s safety professional may have acquired. Shifting from shame and tactical management might not be easy, but it’s worth it.

Keep reading to see what you should be doing (and what skills you should be cultivating) in 2020 and beyond:

A seat at the table. Safety professionals should be part of the strategic business conversations, including the board room. Employers realize that safety has a lot to offer their organization. Organizations who are good at safety perform better in other business functions as well.  Innovative safety professionals who focus on culture and are part of the business ops are contributing to the company’s bottom line. It is your job to proactively help the executives to become proficient in safety and risk.

Not everyone is like you. 2020 (and beyond) will call for safety pros to create communication within the workplace that is digitally enabled and encouraged for the next generation of workers craves feedback. Understanding the generations in your organization and what they need is now a top priority. Companies are losing good employees primarily because they do not recognize their talent or provide authentic feedback and coaching. Safety pros need to learn how to minimize the disruption and create an informational bridge between seasoned and new workers

Data is gold. You can’t ignore it: good and bad Data. You need a data strategy. If you’re a safety cop and you’re discouraging your employees from reporting all information, leading and lagging, you are missing out. Yes, there is a tremendous focus on transitioning to “leading indicators”. Employers need to become immune to the word “good” and “bad”. All data should be analyzed and a strategy for understanding and reacting to data should be developed.

Never stop training. Employees need to adapt and grow. If you’re still only providing a week of onboarding and skills training here and there, you’re falling behind. The future of work is here. Employees should be empowered to make better decisions, faster.  Provide mobile online, on-demand & snackable content at their fingertips to make them more productive. If you want to be competitive, keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date and skip the offsite, costly training.

A new paper process is not going to help. Paper was never meant for people to collaborate. Technology makes employees better at what they do. You’re going to have to make the shift from Safety administrator to safety coach.  A focus on culture, collaboration, and human performance not going away. Our economy is information driven. Digitizing your culture will require you to learn what technology is available and how to think about it.

Education is not a time waster. Education is not a waste of time—rather you need to think of it as a retention tool.  ngage your frontline workers to using neuroscience.  Studies show that engaging your workers activates the reward system in the brain.  When the system is triggered with the right actions it releases feelings of safety, belonging and trust.

When safety culture is important, employees feel like their contributions matter. When organizations provide access to the right information to front-line workers in a timely manner within the context of their daily work environment employees are equipped with the information they need and empowered to be authentic and provide the data the organization needs to prevent accidents from happening.

Stop hoping for the best. Set a quarterly or annual safety goals and back it up with a clear, definable metric. Many safety pros forget to set safety goals and track them. Collecting and analyzing data is important, but, you must have goal that is tied to a key metric that will create clarity so that everyone will understand how you’re tracking.  Without it, you’ll want to change direction as new data comes in and that will be confusing, and allow emotional reactions. Remember, bad outcomes are good because they help you understand where problems may exist. Discipline yourself to have a scorecard that will help you understand exactly what the objective is and how you’ll get there.

The future workforce will not work for an unsafe company. Culture is one of the most important factors. You need technology, but it is a moving target.

Choosing the right technology requires more strategy and it has created new challenges for workplace safety. To keep pace with innovation and remain adaptable, you need cutting edge knowledge and the training to match. Learn about technology and the important aspects to develop a winning strategy.

Whether you’re ready to re-visit old assumptions or you’ve already put a plan in place, we wish you luck as you compile your actionable roadmap.

Improve Safety Management In Your Company

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